Duterte hits EU, Catholic Church, PDI, ABS-CBN anew

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2017 05:01 PM | Updated as of Mar 30 2017 10:58 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte Jorge Silva, Reuters

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday criticized the European Union (E.U.) anew for its comments on his anti-narcotics campaign. 

In a speech during the oath-taking ceremony of government officials in Malacañang, Duterte cursed the E.U. anew and labeled it as a "hypocrite."

The E.U. had raised concerns about the human rights situation in the Philippines before the United Nations Human Rights Council. The E.U. said it was alarmed by the high number of casualties in Duterte's drug war.

"If you asked me how I would describe them, just tell them, 'the mayor has said you’re a f*****g s**t'," Duterte said.

He then went on to lambast the E.U. for allegedly conquering lands, saying Europe was ahead in industrialization because of it.

"We hate you for being a hypocrite. You are the congruity of the times," he added.

He also said the proposal to address the drug problem as a public health issue was "odious" and "despicable" to him.

'OLIGARCHS'

The President also again lashed out at two media organizations and the Catholic Church, calling the two "oligarchs" who are the cause of what "ails of Filipino society."

"That’s what ails the Filipino society is the corrupt media...pati ang simbahan, the oligarchs of society," he said.

The President even said Catholicism would be passé in 30 years.

"That religion will become passé in the next 30 years lalo na pag lumabas na ang abuses nila," he said.

Duterte has long been critical of the Catholic Church, whose leaders have repeatedly spoken against his bloody campaign against illegal drugs.

Duterte also hit the media, particularly Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN Corporation, for allegedly twisting news reports.

"Ganun yan. Makita mo talagang tini-twist nila yung talagang slant na slant. They do not complete the sentences," he said.

Duterte cited a recent news story of the broadsheet quoting his speech in Malaybalay City where he justified how his war on drugs has victimized mostly poor people. “If you die, I’m sorry,” Mr. Duterte said in his speech headlined as such by the Inquirer. 

He added that the two media companies were "rude," and defended himself from allegations by Senator Antonio Trillanes that he had P200 million in his bank accounts, which ABS-CBN reported on.

"If there is really P200 million in my account, mag-reresign ako, yan ang totoo," Duterte said.

He went on to attack the owners of the two organizations, the Prieto and Lopez families, and threatened to create his own program in government-run PTV-4, where he would say rude things daily about the media companies.

In a statement, the Philippine Daily Inquirer "took exception" to Duterte's tirade, as it has "upheld the highest standards of excellence in journalism" since its founding in 1985.

Aside from doing its best to get the administration's side of any story, it also runs a piece in its opinion section every week, where Cabinet officials and even Duterte explain administration policy, the paper said.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) also objected to Duterte's anti-media tirade, and called it "unwarranted" and "absolutely twisted."

"Your curses and your threats cannot and will not prevent us, the community of independent Filipino journalists, from fulfilling our duty to inform the people as best we can of what is happening to our country, whether you agree with what we report or not," NUJP said in a statement.

Commenting on the president's remarks, Palace Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte was only complaining about the "unfair" reports, and was not attacking Philippine journalism.

While Duterte agreed that the media has a role to check and balance government abuses, Abella said, the media should also refrain from portraying him as a "caricature of a berserk strongman over a failed state."

"The President's statement is a call for media to be more fair and unbiased; after all, nations succeed when all sectors maintain objectivity and fairness as they collaborate in nation building," Abella said.